Problems with attachments solved: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=17433

distributor short

All ignition related articles
Post Reply
bangkok bob
Posts: 67
Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2012 8:52 am
Bikes: 1994harley FLSTN 1963 FLH

distributor short

#1

Post by bangkok bob » Mon Jan 13, 2014 7:41 am

Hi all.
A problem made itself noticed 2 days ago so I thought I check it out.
Bike (63 FLH) started to cut out on 1 cylinder when left lever was retarded. This got worse until bike would only run on 2 to just off full advance.

Investigated today and found it was front cylinder cutting out and the reason is that the original wires that run into the dissy have a short.
Power is lost to that set of points when wires are moved (have original manual L twist grip).

My question is-
How does the dissy top get removed to gain access to condensers and the wires?

I searched my manual, KB and the web but no explanation given.
There must be a screw that I have not seen or is it the adjusting cable screw and post?

Having the original trumpet horn in the way does not help either.
Cheers,
Rob. D..



Mark44
Site sponsor
Site sponsor
Posts: 604
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 5:24 am
Bikes: 1946 WL
1948-ish Pan
1991 FXLR
2000 FXD Dyna Superglide
2007 FXDB Street Bob
Location: Snohomish, WA

Re: distributor short

#2

Post by Mark44 » Mon Jan 13, 2014 8:48 am

Isn't there a wire bail on top of your timer? Just use a screwdriver to move it off to the side and then the cap on the timer lifts right off, giving you access to the points and condenser inside.

BTW, the unit is usually called a circuit breaker or spark timer, not a distributor.

bangkok bob
Posts: 67
Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2012 8:52 am
Bikes: 1994harley FLSTN 1963 FLH

Re: distributor short

#3

Post by bangkok bob » Mon Jan 13, 2014 9:11 am

Hi Mark44.

I have the cap off that's straight forward.
This being a 63 FLH it is equipped standard with a 2 point CB. hence the naming distributor as it has more than 1 thing to do.

Perhaps I should of termed the word base plate as once this is removed (?) the condensers are located on the underside of this.
The wires will run onto the mounting posts that also run through this plate to provide power to each set of points.

So I need to know how this base plate is lifted to gain entry to the wires and condensers, then locate where the short exists.
Thanks,
Rob. D.

dbanana
Posts: 52
Joined: Wed Aug 04, 2010 8:40 pm
Bikes: HD
Location: Nova Scotia

Re: distributor short

#4

Post by dbanana » Mon Jan 13, 2014 2:07 pm

You remove the wire hoop ,then there is a circular clip underneath the base that has to be removed so the top will lift off.
It is shown in the pics of this one on e-bay.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Rare-Original-D ... a3&vxp=mtr" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

bangkok bob
Posts: 67
Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2012 8:52 am
Bikes: 1994harley FLSTN 1963 FLH

Re: distributor short

#5

Post by bangkok bob » Mon Jan 13, 2014 2:31 pm

I thank you dbanana :D

I was beginning to think there were not many 63 FLH owners still running with the standard ignition setup.

t-jacobs
Posts: 23
Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2011 2:53 pm
Bikes: 64 FLH

Re: distributor short

#6

Post by t-jacobs » Tue Jan 14, 2014 1:01 am

I'm running it on my 64.

bangkok bob
Posts: 67
Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2012 8:52 am
Bikes: 1994harley FLSTN 1963 FLH

Re: distributor short

#7

Post by bangkok bob » Tue Jan 14, 2014 3:11 am

Hi all.
Operation a success.
This had not been opened in many years but in good condition.
Points are US made and cleaned up nicely with a small stone.
Condensers are Myla brand and seem to have been doing their job.

The red wire was hanging by a few threads and broke passing through the housing.
An easy fix at home. Better than side of road!

So this should make starting less temperamental depending where the advance was set.
Thanks all.
Rob. D.
Attachments
IMG_9677.jpg
IMG_9677.jpg (62.75 KiB) Viewed 1523 times
IMG_9676.jpg
IMG_9676.jpg (88.03 KiB) Viewed 1523 times
IMG_9670.jpg
IMG_9670.jpg (93.35 KiB) Viewed 1523 times

UPSROD
Posts: 445
Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2009 6:18 pm
Bikes: 58 FLH 65 FLH 81 FXB 04 FLHRSI
Location: PACIFIC NORTHWEST

Re: distributor short

#8

Post by UPSROD » Tue Jan 14, 2014 5:09 pm

I ran a dual point on my '62, and never any problems.

Mark44
Site sponsor
Site sponsor
Posts: 604
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 5:24 am
Bikes: 1946 WL
1948-ish Pan
1991 FXLR
2000 FXD Dyna Superglide
2007 FXDB Street Bob
Location: Snohomish, WA

Re: distributor short

#9

Post by Mark44 » Tue Jan 14, 2014 8:42 pm

bangkok bob wrote:Hi Mark44.

I have the cap off that's straight forward.
This being a 63 FLH it is equipped standard with a 2 point CB. hence the naming distributor as it has more than 1 thing to do.
The '59 to '69 service manual calls it a circuit breaker. Item 26 in the figure and description.
viewtopic.php?f=67&t=11043" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
bangkok bob wrote: Perhaps I should of termed the word base plate as once this is removed (?) the condensers are located on the underside of this.
The wires will run onto the mounting posts that also run through this plate to provide power to each set of points.

So I need to know how this base plate is lifted to gain entry to the wires and condensers, then locate where the short exists.
Thanks,
Rob. D.

Cotten
Posts: 6911
Joined: Mon Aug 26, 2002 9:09 am
Location: Central Illinois

Re: distributor short

#10

Post by Cotten » Tue Jan 14, 2014 9:10 pm

Rob!

I am afraid it is a vanity issue.

Indians had true distributors, by Autolite.

H-D always referred to their assembly in literature as either a "timer" or "circuit breaker".

I bow to tradition, and follow those distinctions.

The common vernacular, as well as common catalog listings, blur these distinctions.

The dual-point circuit breaker was as close as OHV-era H-D ignitions ever got.
But without a rotor, it just isn't a conventional 'distributor'.

And honestly, as an Indian afficianado,... t'aint the same a'tall..,
yet better in many ways!

....Cotten

bangkok bob
Posts: 67
Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2012 8:52 am
Bikes: 1994harley FLSTN 1963 FLH

Re: distributor short

#11

Post by bangkok bob » Wed Jan 15, 2014 10:30 am

Hi all.
Sorry Mr TC for being too vain in the presence of Indians.

Well with a lot of fiddling about all back together and what a difference a new piece of wire makes.
This problem had been playing up for a while and was hard to locate.

It all depended on where the timer was set and would vary on occasions when you stopped on the same day.
Typical electrical issues. Because of its location it was hard to find.
But after the 3rd timing and points check in in a month and no change and just getting worse determination won.

Bike starts like a new one and can be retarded low enough for the generator to glow bright- amazing.
I haven't started by hand yet but should be possible.

Cheers and take care all.
Rob. D.

Panhead Ed
Posts: 346
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2010 8:29 pm
Bikes: 1948 FL
1959 FLH chopper
1966 Norton P-11
1968 XLCH
1976 FXE
Location: N/W ohio

Re: distributor short

#12

Post by Panhead Ed » Wed Jan 15, 2014 2:05 pm

Ok Bob ! now you know what old wire is not suppose to look like , you might find similar conditions anywhere from head lite to tail lite and ever where in between . Even though things are working , when you get some extra minutes pop off your dash cover for a quick look ,, you might find a similar condition that is way easier to address at home than on the road . enjoy the ride . Ed

Hell I see the same kind of ageing process when I look in the mirror , a friend just sent me a pik making this piont all to real . me and my best friends young and pretty taking a break . Now a days we look more like your timer pik. Dam it
Attachments
1389733307090.jpg
1389733307090.jpg (40.18 KiB) Viewed 1426 times

bangkok bob
Posts: 67
Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2012 8:52 am
Bikes: 1994harley FLSTN 1963 FLH

Re: distributor short

#13

Post by bangkok bob » Wed Jan 15, 2014 3:00 pm

Hi panhead Ed.

Yeah been right through those areas that are accessible but that one under the CB is a dark area.
The base moves and the wires run through the base. Someone had what looked like a large staple through the wire sheath as it enters the CB.
With the movement of the base for AD or RET over time this had put extra strain on the wires and caused the fraying.

That's what forums are about. Sharing problems and the way to overcome them.
Might save someone a lot of time in the future as this one took me a while on my own.
Especially when bike ran so well on full advance.

Regards.
Rob. D.

UPSROD
Posts: 445
Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2009 6:18 pm
Bikes: 58 FLH 65 FLH 81 FXB 04 FLHRSI
Location: PACIFIC NORTHWEST

Re: distributor short

#14

Post by UPSROD » Wed Jan 15, 2014 4:51 pm

Bob, that staple, clip, little piece of wire is there from the factory to hold the timer wires from pulling out.

Post Reply

Return to “Ignition”